The only real standard

The only real standards

With only a click of a mouse and the whimsical chime of Google Chrome your average Internet dweller can find anything from the very first food George Clooney ate to the projected date of the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

Today, perusing the perilous world of Facebook, a new set of female strength standards popped up on my feed from Adam Farrah.

They read something as follows:

Squat- 100kg to 125kg
Bench Press- 75kg to 95kg
Deadlift- 125kg to 160kg

And were based on the male strength standards of:

Squat- 180kg
Bench Press- 135kg
Deadlift- 225kg.

After reiterating these standards on my Facebook feed they were met with certain loathing ire due to the ‘unrealistic standards’.

Maybe asking a woman (or man) to fulfil these numbers is the weight training equivalent of expecting your woman to get breast or butt implants to look more like Beyoncé or Katie Price.

Highly respected coach Dan John has his own strength standards as well.

Once again, they aren’t for the feint of heart and, before you look at them, please make sure you are sitting down.  If you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to click on the link, let me give you the cliff notes…

… He expects nearly as much as Adam Farrah, although Dan John’s standards are at least normalised into BW measurements.

Of course, this led to the discovery of another set of standards from Rippetoe, Pendlay and Kilgore- standards that have been trialled, tested and categorised based on experience level.

Whilst Rippetoe, Pendlay and Kilgore’s standards are probably the most in-depth and reasonable, I’d contend that there is an even better way to measure your strength, progress and levels of mega coolness.


Training journals

Two words, no tricks, no “OMG I feel like my lower spleen is going to explode from my glutes but I still need to add 30kg to the bar to be deemed strong” moments.

Having someone tell you what you should be able to push, pull or squat is beneficial.  These are the same standards used by elite coaches to determine the conditioning level of their elite or pro athletes.

If you can hit the numbers, crack a cold one, kick back and don’t forget to brag about it on Facebook- otherwise it didn’t happen!

But, if you can’t hit Dan John, Adam Farrah or Rippetoe, Pendlay and Kilgore’s numbers do not despair, do not crack a cold one, lean forward and post a depressive ‘woe is me’ rant on Facebook.

Keeping a training journal allows for reflection, introspection and even some competition against past and future you.

Every time I squat I have imaginary conversations with past and future me:

“Hey past JP, get a load of this!  You pulled 200kg last week, watch me pull 220kg this week.  Future JP, I dare you to beat that!”

All numbers aside, all ‘global strength standards’ discarded- regardless of who set them- that is real progress, and the only numbers that truly matter are the ones in your training journal.

Make sure YOUR numbers keep climbing and make ensure you keep getting stronger, bigger, faster and more bodaciously bootylicious than you were yesterday, last week and so on.

And that is the only real strength standard that matters.

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